Bristol Businesses and community gather together to celebrate
Bristol businesses and members of the community gathered this weekend to celebrate the inaugural Bristol Pride Gala Ball which took place in the Marriott Royal Hotel on Saturday 31 October.
The event hosted by Bristol Pride aimed to bring the community together with businesses doing great work in the city for their LGBT+ staff, clients, visitors and the wider community and celebrate success with the first ever Bristol Pride Awards. Both Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson and The Right Honorable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Clare Campion-Smith attended the event and presented awards.
Businesses present on the night including Bristol based law firms Burges Salmon, Irwin Mitchell and DAC Beachcroft as well as University of West of England and The Labour Party including 2016 mayoral candidate Marvin Rees, atBristol, SS Great Britain, representatives the music industry and staff from the MOD and Environment Agency.
The night saw a Halloween themed spectacle with jugglers, acrobatic performances and magicians ahead of a sumptuous 3 course dinner and masquerade after party. The highlight of the night however were the Pride Awards which had been nominated by members of the public. Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson praised the hard work being done in the city for the LGBT community whilst presenting the award for Best Employer which was won by The Watershed whilst The Lord Mayor presented the award for Most Friendly LGBT+ Visitor Attraction which was awarded to science centre atBristol.
UWE Bristol picked up a special recognition award for the overwhelming support they have shown Bristol Pride over the past six years as well as achieving the highest ranking educational institute in the Stonewall Workplace Equality index in 2015 coming 11th in the Top100 overall. Their support to Bristol Pride both financially and with awareness of our events and activities amongst staff, students and Bristol as a whole has meant a great deal to staff and to students and in some cases have been one of the reasons LGBT students have chosen to come to live and study in Bristol.
Whilst Pride volunteer John Paul Bradbury was recognised for his work with the team and awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Contribution award for his dedication and hard work, signing up to work as this year’s Volunteer Parade Manager after only being in Bristol a few short weeks. His hard work meant that Pride’s largest parade to date, with over 5000 people, was a great success and was safely managed and coordinated as people marched through the busy city streets.
Bristol Pride Director Daryn Carter said:
“It was a fantastic night and with great support from big local businesses, members of the public and both the Mayor and Lord Mayor of the city attended the event. I am really pleased we have been able to recognise the great work being done in the city by businesses who are visibly showcasing their support to staff and commitment to the community, be that through great equalities training, staff networks or just supporting community events like Pride. It was heartwarming to read some of the reasons why organisations were nominated for awards and it’s clear the work they are doing clearly means a great deal to staff and the community. In the case of UWE this extends to students who for some have been one of the reasons they have chosen to come to live and study in Bristol.”
On winning Best Law Firm Jonathan Peacock, Partner at Irwin Mitchell LLP said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have received this award, with the prize being a great tribute to the fantastic range of work undertaken by many people within our office. As well as sponsoring the Pride annual event, our caseworkers have consistently acted with empathy and understanding of the issues faced in the LGBT community and are a major credit to the firm.
The win is a great time to celebrate our commitment to this area and we are already thinking about the next steps we can take to improve our support even further.”
Full List of Awards and Winners
Best Law Firm: Irwin Mitchell LLP
Best LGBT+ Staff Network: The Co-operative
Best LGBT+ Friendly Visitor Attraction: atBristol
Best Employer: Watershed
Best Act at Pride Day: NINA
Outstanding Volunteer Contribution: John Paul Bradbury
Best Stall at Pride Day: Labour
Special Recognition: UWE Bristol
Bristol Pride Achievement Award: The Environment Agency